Unravelling The Women Code

I have met many women along my journey in life, with many more to meet.

There are women who impact your life in a positive way, from your inner circle to random women you meet along the way.

Then there are women, who you look at and say “I never want to be that way – vain, superficial, self-centred, almost hostile to another female.”

There have been a few times in my life when I’ve been thoroughly disappointed with my fellow women. Instead of empowering each other, they tear their counterpart down.

I don’t expect every single female to “like” each other, or even be best of friends; let alone hold hands and sing “kumbaya” every time we interact.

However what I do think is important between females is respect, common decency, and less judgements? Seems like this is not a huge ask, but you will be amazed how difficult this is for some. My point is not to single anyone out. My goal is to ask the question, “Why?”

Why do so many women try to tear each other down instead of lift each other up?

We hardly see this with men, they constantly patting each other on the back, they stand up for one another and seem to have this code between them.

I don’t and will probably never understand why some women would rather put a fellow female down, gossip about her, body shame her, rather than celebrating each other in their uniqueness. With our endless mind chatter, pressures and stresses of life, it helps to be able to know that at least your fellow women are not going to add to the challenges of life.

We are chemically and biologically more in tune to support each other. There are hormones that are released from women to other women that are healthy and do away with the stress hormones. We need to lift each other up. If we won’t, who will? And if you cannot empower or uplift another women, at least don’t make it harder than it is. No one knows what it’s like to be a woman in this world unless they are one. Men go to the pub or play golf to share their commonness. I think we need our own female tradition, maybe a revival of the “red tent” tradition, with a modern twist.

For me; my closest females be it my best friends, my sisters’ or those in my inner circle, women who I admire, like my boss; are my sound boards, they remind me of who I am deep down inside when I second guess myself; they hold me accountable, they are never afraid to give me objective opinions. For me each of these females’ represents something unique. Their personalities, approaches, opinions and perspectives are so vastly different. I find that these women can tell me the hard truth, even if I am royally screwing up. I am blessed to have these women in my life, diverse, strong and selfless beings. We applaud each other’s successes, always ready to help when needed, support and mentor each other. We should never allow “bitchiness” to enter, maybe that should be a “Women Code” if you cannot say something respectful about a fellow female, rather opt for silence.

“We’re better and stronger together; than we are apart” as Hillary Clinton’s presidential slogan stated that should resonate with each of us. That why it’s called a “sisterhood”.

About Saffiya Ismail

Born in Pietermaritzburg, she now resides in Johannesburg and says her most important role in life is being a mother. Saffiya is a freelance writer. A contributing author in “Riding the Samoosa Express” (Anthology launched 21st March 2015). With a second chapter submitted for the next book, Saffiya says her passion is writing.

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